UX for Existing Users at T-Mobile

I was asked to perform a quick review of the customer support user experience at tmobile.com.  My short presentation was to frame my evaluation from the perspective of a current customer who owns a MyTouch Slide phone.  The intent was not to buy a new phone, but to improve the support functionality for someone who already owns this phone.

With this, I wanted to highlight that we need to be polite to customers.  Quoting Alan Cooper, “If we want users to like our software, we should design it to behave like a likeable person: respectful, generous and helpful.”

Usability Test for Cloud Storage

Gogobeans had been growing exponentially, however, they had been developing on the fly and had no formal usability testing performed.  Our team designed and conducted a task-oriented usability lab study, with the goal of informing the product design and eliminating common usability problems and frustrations. In addition, the findings of this usability study might serve as a benchmark against which to judge the usability of future iterations of Gogobeans.

How we tested

We had participants who had no experience with Gogobeans perform nine tasks in a controlled lab setting using Techsmith Morae for observing.  Tasks were focused on participant use of Gogobeans as a means to share online content with friends. Tasks included registering for an account, uploading, sharing, and deleting photos, adding a friend to their Gogobeans network, and performing basic operations using the unique terminology of the website.  Data was collected for task time, number of clicks, error and completion rate, the participants feedback during the study using the think-aloud protocol, participant emotional reaction (recorded via video), and subjective ratings from the participants on overall ease of use.

Results were prepared in both a formal written report as well as presented to an audience including the stakeholder, and received high praise. Changes to Gogobeans began to take shape and design was given higher consideration as a result of our prepared report.

Project partners:  Mark Lammers & Rebecca Destello

Project Cost Accounting at UW

pca2The Project Cost Accounting System allows University of Washington departments to track financial data for functions using their own defined coding structure. Users may categorize transactions both within an individual budget number and crossing budget numbers. Once created, the coding structure is entered and maintained within the Online Financial Accounting System (FIN).

mappcaDue to the disconnect of decentralized financial systems at the University, acquiring information regarding PCA has been a challenge to both new and existing users.  Additional barriers to information are posed by a system that is coded on the mainframe, invisible to end users.  The typical user of PCA was not well-versed in COBOL based programming, and needed detailed information on how to apply codes to their transactions.

Working with existing literature (that dated back to 1973!), current PCA users, and mainframe program developers, I gathered and organized information to help create a one-stop source for information.  With the help of my group as well as volunteers, the information was streamlined to help provide quick information based on their needs.

To help ensure visitors were able to navigate through with ease and clarity, I coded several site maps to help display information based on the results of card sorts.  For presenting drafts of the visual navigation of new help content, a quick mapping tool called FreeMind was used.  Final documentation was done using Microsoft Visio with more detailed processes listed.pcagettingstarted

Using Drupal for departmental content management, the site provided streamlined content, a workbook for new users to help guide their coding structure creation, detailed department examples, and links to available resources and other PCA mentors.

As a result, users have reported positive experiences when learning about implementing Project Cost Accounting, feeling confident about the information when using the system.

HCI Theories in Action

Just because something is deemed theory doesn’t mean it has to be inaccessible.  Once you get past all the dense writing and confusing vocabulary, theory can actually help you look at things in novel and informative ways. In the following videos we use theory to guide you through one day in the life of Laura, a UX Consultant as she deals with road closures, annoyed coworkers, poorly received websites, and more.

Working with Rebecca, Robert and Telle, my major contribution to this project was filming and video editing.

View the full website, which includes the screenplay, more information on the theories discussed, and in-depth papers written by each member of the team:  http://hcde501theoriesinaction.weebly.com/